Providing opportunity to capture hinterland potential

─ qualification requirements for entry into public health training, nursing programmes being waived for hinterland applicants – Min. Lawrence

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 29, 2019

Persons in the hinterland who wish to pursue a career in public health professions, through training provided by the ministry, will no longer have to worry about being under-qualified to apply. This is according to Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence who said that there will be a waiver for hinterland applicants.

The minister made this announcement to health personnel in Region One and remote communities in other regions.

This decision was taken after the Public Health Ministry recognised that there were several persons ready and willing to be trained to return to their respective communities and provide necessary health services but were deemed unqualified.

Minister Lawrence said this change in policy caters specifically for those who wish to enrol at nursing school. The waiver will also cater for applicants in other areas of public health training.

“At the nursing council, we have made some changes because when you apply you would usually have to have Mathematics and English at one sitting… we changed that… now it does not matter how many sittings you did; you will be considered.”

The case was made to public health policymakers that often, those who are interested in joining the health profession are denied the opportunity when they are the change agents that exist.

“If somebody didn’t do well at maths while they were in school but they still pursued and studied the subject afterwards then that’s the person I want to work for me because that person is ambitious, they are not quitters,” the Public Health Minister explained.

Waiving the qualifications will also essentially address the deficit which exists especially in the area of nursing and will eventually eliminate the need for the ministry to deploy trained personnel trained from the coast to serve in the hinterland.

This new policy, instituted by the ministry, creates equal opportunity for all Guyanese to access training to be gainfully employed in the public sector.

This ties into a vision handed down to the ministry by His Excellency, President David Granger. The Head of State said:

“We must bring about equity irrespective of where persons are and one of those ways to bring about equity from Public Health point of view is to ensure that we give the people in the hinterland an opportunity so we have lowered the requirements for those persons.”

Meanwhile, for other training programmes such as Community Health Workers (CHW), and Patient Care Assistant (PCA) among others, the need to complete secondary education is not a requirement. Interested persons with the necessary drive and commitment can be identified by village leaders to serve their community in the area of health, with the potential to advance even further into the health profession.

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